Sunday, April 29, 2018

MMGM Maker Lab Outdoors


~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY S.T.E.A.M. FEATURE ~
-- 'SMITHSONIAN MAKER LAB OUTDOORS:
25 SUPER COOL PROJECTS TO BUILD, 
INVENT, CREATE, DISCOVER' --
Written by Author Jack Challoner






ABOUT THE BOOK: {from Goodreads}:
Twenty-eight science projects and experiments to be done outside will spark kids' creativity and help them develop science skills through hands-on learning.

Projects focus on Earth and the environment, plants and animals, rocks and minerals, and space, bringing science learning home and into the backyard. Young scientists can make a cave system and find out about underground rivers, construct a working model of tectonic plates and learn about earthquakes, build a telescope and look to the planets and stars, and more.

Supporting STEAM education initiatives and the Maker Movement, Maker Lab: Outdoors includes 25 interactive projects to inspire kids' creativity and their scientific side, and, as the founder of Maker Faire Dale Dougherty says, "to realize with their hands what they can imagine in their minds."

With stunning photography, succinct step-by-step instructions, and detailed explanations, Maker Lab: Outdoors takes readers on a journey of discovery. A must-have for every young scientist curious about their surroundings, and for makers, crafters, and those who enjoy exploring the outdoors.


MY REVIEW:
This book is such a fabulous resource for individuals who teach and work with middle-graders! The book is divided into four thematic chapters:  Nature Watch, World of Weather, Water Power, and Earth and Sky. There are several projects in each chapter.

I cannot say enough about the quality of the projects in this book. From the very first project--'How to Build a Periscope'--to the last project--'Paper Sundial'--these are engaging, useful, fun projects for middle-graders and adults alike!

In addition to the project photos and instructions, there is an introduction to each 'how to' sharing the science behind the DIY activity. The 'Wormery' project extends the idea of the project to the 'real-world science' of composting. The 'Soil-Free Planter' extends to aquaponics. The 'Brilliant Barometer' extends to meteorology and isobars. You get the picture.

Two of my favorite projects are the 'How to Grow Mycelium' in the Nature Watch chapter and the 'Anemometer' in the World of Weather chapter. The mycelium-in-a-jar project is unique; I've never seen it in any other science manual or STEAM education book before.

The author has done an excellent job of explaining difficult theories in interesting, yet down-to-earth terms. The projects are clever and are supported with user-friendly stepped-out instructions with photos. Makers are encouraged to use recycled goods from around the house, i.e. plastic bottles, cardboard, glass jars, shoe boxes, etc.

Back matter includes templates for the projects, a thorough glossary, and an index. 

Highly-recommended for teachers, science camp counselors, parents/grandparents/care-givers, and teens and adults interested in upping their own science knowledge! {I'll admit I learned a lot about fungus/spores/mushrooms, weather, and aquaponics.}

I borrowed this book from the 'new book' shelves in the children's section of my local public library. 
--------------------

COMING UP SOON ON 'READING, WRITING & STITCH-METIC':

-- Wednesday, May 2nd: Book spotlight, snippet, artwork feature, and giveaway for a new children's activity book from Cedar Fort, Inc., 'Wizard's Workshop'. Event hosted by Singing Librarian Books.

-- Friday, May 4th: Book Blast with $50 giveaway for a new clean romance, 'Scarlet'. Event hosted by I Am A Reader.


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10 comments:

  1. I used to teach in an outdoor education program. This book would have been perfect. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Hello, Greg ~ You're welcome. I frequently read books and think, "If only this had been published back when . . . " Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. Regards, June

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  3. I have some teachers who would love this book. Thanks, June.

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  4. You are welcome! I love to pass the word to my fellow educators whenever it is warranted. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Best, June.

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  5. I loved launching water rockets as a kid. With the news about people people purchasing trips into space, this book is very timely for dreamers.

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    1. I always love to read your comments on MMGM, Patricia! They are so positive and insightful. Thank you for visiting my blog again. Sincerely, June

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  6. This sounds like something that can get the kids away from their computers and TVs. Nice!

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    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree with you more, Rosi! Let's hear it for hands-on learning and being outdoors. Thanks for posting your comments. Best, June

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  7. Dangggg this book sounds so fun! I absolutely love science experiment books. This one sounds a lot like a book I had when I was smaller. (Mad Science I think. I don't recall the name. It also explained complicated terms in a way that even I could understand. It was so much fun!!!) I also love how it encourages people to use recycled items. This sounds like an awesome find!

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    1. Welcome, Sue ~ Thank you for your enthusiastic comments! I was not much of a science fan as a child, but when I taught primary grades the wonder and delight in my students' eyes when we worked on an experiment together was contagious. Hope you get to read this book soon. Sincerely, June

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